I haven't blogged much this summer I know, but to be honest the weather - for a change, was just too flippin good to be sat in doors :)
In & around Lyndhurst, such a well placed part of the country to make the most of good weather, we have had so much fun. The forest is the ideal place for simple walks, cycling & picnics. The seaside is ideal for a gathering of friends having fun, paddling, swimming, making sand castles and then to top it all off sunset bbq's on the beach, there's something quite beautiful and special about the light of the setting sun on the beach and I think this is going to be one of my favourite memories from this summer time.
As for attractions, we are a family of season ticket holders for Paultons Theme Park so we spend many an afternoon there for just a couple of hours doing a few of the rides and the splash park, the kids always really enjoy it.
This year we re-visited Furzey Gardens, which we went to a few years back when Isabelle was probably about Sophie's age now. They both really enjoyed the search for fairies and fairy doors, which Isabelle had no memory of from the first time. We managed to find about 32 out of 38 which was pretty good going. It's a great place for young & old, the whole place has a magical and tranquil feel about it.
We also fitted in a couple of brand new things this summer too, we managed to get reduced tickets to Snowtrax through Wave105, this was great fun. I had looked at doing it before but had never actually got round to it. We did the Ringos & Skibobs, they are both very different ways of getting down the slope but both really great fun, the ringos are like big round tyre inner tubes basically that you sit in and get launched down the slope. Then the skibobs are like sit on trikes but with ski's on the bottom rather than wheels and you steer them down the slope. The ringos are quicker and more thrilling but the skibobs are more controllable. Then when you have finished there is a great log cabin style eating & drinking area which all adds to the experience, you can almost imagine you are on the side of a snowy ski slope somewhere in the Alps.
The other new place we visited was Longleat, again it didn't cost much as we used our Tesco points for it. It was an awesome day out, the weather was great and it isn't that far from us really, just over an hour away. It is probably the best attraction I have been to that involves animals, other than our safari trip to the Kruger National Park, SA. We got there literally just as it opened and we did the drive round safari bit first, this was great and I got some great shots of the lions.
I really liked the giraffe area too as it's a raised platform over a valley which means that you are strangely at eye level with the giraffes. Also in this area there was an African village which included tribal dancing and the start of the Deadly 60 safari. This kept the kids busy looking for clues in all the enclosures to make a secret code at the end, a great bit of added fun for them. Once we had done the safari we parked the car and wondered round all the other bits. It is so large that you do struggle to fit it all in in 1 day, but we did, just. There is a train ride, boat trip on the lake to see the old silverback gorilla on his island, a massive play area, the Deadly 60 Challenge, a maze, falconry display, animal handling, all sorts of animals in different enclosures, and also the house & gardens. A truely great day for all of us and we would certainly go back again. My kids are still talking about it loads.
In addition to this we visited the Bournemouth Air Show on the beach. This is a great weekend event that takes place every year and includes everyones favourite planes doing thier stuff but the real surprise this year was the Night Air. They had a fantastic early evening Flying Circus Display which was basically 2 planes display flying but with fireworks coming off thier wings, really really effective and at the same time there was a concert on the beach which carried on till late. A great day & nights entertainment all for free.
The other thing that we managed to do during the holidays was a couple of camping trips, these are always great fun as we go with several friends and their children and it's just laughter, fun, bbq's and beer - what more can you ask for?
So looking back at this summer and the school holiday period we have had a fantastic summer. We have spent lots of time with all our great friends either out and about or at home having bbq's in the back garden and just making the most of what we have around us. We have had many, many laughs at each other and with each other, created lasting memories, friendships and new traditions and I do feel really lucky with what we have and what we've done - long may it last.
Acorns of Lyndhurst B&B
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